Gareth Rafferty (Winner)
Gareth was nominated by Alice Vickers, a corporate parenting officer, for his overwhelming commitment to looked after children and care leavers.
He has come through the city’s care system and co-chairs the Care Leavers Forum, which is a driving force for change to improve the lives and opportunities for LAC’s.
Over the past year Gareth has represented the forum at senior leadership meetings and hosted the city’s Care Leaver week celebrations.
When Ofsted inspected children’s services in the Wolverhampton earlier this year, Gareth chaired a meeting with inspectors and was interviewed by the BBC for their coverage of the ‘Good’ rating.
He has also won the award for youth achievement at the prestigious Prince Albert 150 Mayoral awards, and was also successful at the I-Awards, which celebrates the achievements of LAC’s and care leavers over the last 12 months.
When we interviewed Gareth, he said that he hadn’t done anything that other people in his position wouldn’t have done. We all agreed that on that particular point, he was being a tad modest.
Gareth has devoted so much of his time to helping others, despite the many challenges he has faced in his own life.
Yet he has still managed great personal success. He has just finished his studies at Willenhall E-Act Academy and is going on to study at Derby University in September.